Post-pandemic growth in work tech

Many believe this is a time for restraint and defense, when we should all wait around for the second shoe to drop. But falling into the current doom loop is missing the greatest opportunity to build market share in recent memory. Let’s dive into why that might be the case.

As the Quarantine Summer comes to an end, some people are holding their breath. What’s next? Will the U.S. presidential election keep software buyers playing wait and see? If 2020 were a Gartner Hype Cycle, this current moment is certainly the Trough of Disillusionment.

There’s a lot of good news though. The tech IPO market is booming with Work Tech unicorn Asana among a slew of filings to go public. Then there’s Salesforce getting added to the Dow Jones Industrials Average. Oh, and the Work Tech investment market is still on track to match last year’s record numbers. 

Why might that be? Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, argues that cloud technologies mark the end of software, a shift that has only been accelerated by the crisis as business shifts to all-digital environments. Here’s Benioff speaking to Bloomberg Technology last week:

The reality is that it’s basically the end of software. Everything has moved to the cloud. Salesforce is the largest enterprise applications company. We’ve made our name on the idea that you can easily get value from this cloud solution, that it’s fast to install, fast return on the investment. The transformation that you want for your business, regardless of scale, can happen instantly and powerfully, and that you can get tremendous ROI.

So, here’s the question: Are buyers going to be there between now and the end of the year? Early signs point to yes. Benioff, in that same interview, projects $20 billion in revenue this quarter. In market research and conversations that we’re having with enterprise CHROs and midmarket buyers, it’s clear that the sentiment has moved past plugging the gaps and into thoughtfully and intentionally making acquisitions that further digital transformation and readiness for the Future of Work. FWIW, Gartner research backs up our perspective: “CMOs dismiss economic pessimism as 73% expect COVID-19’s near-term negative impacts to be short-lived, at odds with the expectations of C-suite colleagues.”

You have a choice this fall: 

1) You can be bold and invest in buying market share on the cheap — and there are definitely more Work Tech brands than you’d think already under way with their efforts. 

2) You can do nothing and watch your competitors move forward.

Our advice: Go with No. 1.